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Miami Dolphins working backs coach Eric Studesville told reporters Wednesday that any directive or perception that the staff ought to tank from proprietor Stephen Ross by no means made it into the locker room in 2019.
“From the highest down, [the goal was] to win soccer video games and put together and prepare to go—that is the way it’s at all times been,” he stated. “That is how I feel this sport is true. That is what we do, that is what I owe the sport, each time we get an opportunity to compete, we do our greatest. There was by no means something aside from that expressed to us or to me.”
“That is simply not how we’re wired,” he added. “None of that was ever shared.”
Within the lawsuit former head coach Brian Flores filed in opposition to the NFL and numerous its groups, together with the Dolphins, alleging racist hiring practices, he accused Ross of providing him as much as $100,000 per loss within the 2019 season in an effort to tank for a greater draft choose.
He additionally stated that normal supervisor Chris Grier stated Ross was “mad” that the staff’s late-season wins had been “compromising [the team’s] draft place,” per ESPN’s Marcel Louis-Jacque.
The NFL investigation into Ross and the Dolphins didn’t discover proof of deliberately dropping in the course of the 2019 season, although it did discover that the proprietor “made feedback to staff president and CEO Tom Garfinkel, normal supervisor Chris Grier, senior vice chairman Brandon Shore and Flores that the staff’s draft place ought to take precedence over profitable video games.”
As for the accusation that Flores was supplied $100,000 per loss, the NFL discovered “differing recollections concerning the wording, timing and context” and concluded that it was “not meant or taken to be a critical supply, nor was the topic pursued the least bit by Mr. Ross or anybody else on the membership.”
“I’m grateful that the NFL’s investigator discovered my factual allegations in opposition to Ross are true,” Flores said in a statement after the NFL’s ruling. “On the identical time, I’m disillusioned to be taught that the investigator minimized Mr. Ross’ gives and strain to tank video games particularly after I wrote and submitted a letter on the time to Dolphins executives documenting my critical considerations concerning this topic on the time which the investigator has in her possession.
“Whereas the investigator discovered that the Dolphins had engaged in impermissible tampering of ‘unprecedented scope and severity,’ Mr. Ross will keep away from any significant consequence.”
Nevertheless, as part of its general investigation into the Dolphins, the league did effective Ross $1.5 million and droop him for six video games, took away a 2023 first-rounder and 2024 third-rounder and banned vice chairman/restricted companion Bruce Beal from any league conferences for the whole thing of the 2022 season for making “impermissible contact” with quarterback Tom Brady and former New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton whereas they had been employed with different groups.
Flores, 41, was fired by the Dolphins in January after going 24-25 throughout three seasons because the staff’s head coach. He was employed by the Pittsburgh Steelers to function a senior defensive assistant and linebackers coach this offseason.